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Palin, Jindal Defend "Duck Dynasty" Star

Palin, Jindal Defend "Duck Dynasty" Star

By Adam O'Neal - December 19, 2013

Several prominent conservatives have expressed their support for “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson following his suspension by A&E for making controversial remarks about homosexuals.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin posted a picture of herself with Robertson and his family on Facebook Wednesday night. The caption reads: “Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”

The picture garnered nearly 250,000 “Likes” by Thursday morning.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also issued a statement of support for Robertson, in which he attacked the “politically correct crowd” that is “tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with.”

Jindal said that while he doesn’t agree “with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV,” he supports free speech.

“It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended,” the two-term governor asserted.

Asked by GQ magazine what he considers sinful behavior, Robertson responded, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.”

The reality-TV star also said of those who, in his view, sin, “We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus -- whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

“Duck Dynasty” is a reality program shot in Louisiana that follows the Robertsons, who became wealthy from the success of their duck hunting equipment company. The show has broken numerous ratings records on cable television. Many conservatives have embraced the show, in part because of the central role that Christianity plays in the Robertson family’s life.

An A&E press release announcing the suspension said, “We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty.”

The statement also said that A&E networks have “always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community.”

The controversy made its way to Fox News. Host Sean Hannity warned that firing stars over controversial statements was a “slippery slope.” His colleague Megyn Kelly bemoaned on her show that there was not a discussion of Robertson’s comments before his suspension.

“He is a Christian man -- I grant you he did not say this in the kindest way -- but why can't there be a debate about it?” she asked. “Why can't there be a discussion?” 

Adam O'Neal is a political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at aoneal@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearAdam.

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